HIPA absurdity

Track down that Risk Management officer who lectured us last week. HIPA is designed to protect patient's privacy, but some of the fine-tuning seems crazy. You can't say "A man in Worcester presented with a rash yesterday" because Worcester is too specific (you CAN say "508 area code" or "016XX ZIP") and you can't peg down a time like "yesterday" or "last week". Some ethnic and age identification is ok but not too much -- 41 year old black man, but not 41 y.o. Iranian or 96-year old black man.

Interview the officer and ask her if it's worth it. My first-choice slant is that privacy is a good thing but when you drive doctors so crazy with fear they're tipping info that's probably not going to ID anyone.

And Dusty's notion (rephrased skillfully here): When you start with the premise that a medical condition is a stigma, you devote more energy into hiding the condition than to fighting the stigma.